It’s easy to forget that lots of ecommerce platforms don’t have a content management system (CMS). It’s something we take for granted, because Drupal Commerce was built on a CMS. That’s how it started out. But that’s not usually the case. If you want to build a CMS with Magento, for instance, you have to add on a CMS (incidentally, the recommended CMS to pair with Magento is Drupal).
So with most other ecommerce platforms, to get CMS functionality you have to pair them with WordPress or you have to pair them with SharePoint. Ecommerce platforms handle products, and that’s about it. They don’t handle tutorials, how-to videos, blog posts, or any of that other stuff.
This leads to the problem where you have a shop, and you have a catalog or brochure site. So you have all these product pages that explain all about the products with videos and guides and stuff, and then you have the separate shop. It doesn’t really make sense for it to BE separate; it’s only done that way because of the limitations of the technology. Apple is a classic offender: the Apple store is completely different from the Apple product pages.
The majority of ecommerce sites are set up that way, with one site that tells you about the products and an entirely separate site that lets you actually purchase the products. Sometimes you can fake it on the front end to make it look like they’re coming from the same place, but that’s far more difficult than just doing it properly on the back end.
On the other hand, Amazon is an example of an online retailer that doesn’t really do content. They just have product pages. If you want additional information on an Amazon product, you go somewhere else, like to the website of the manufacturer. Amazon basically assumes you’ve already decided to buy the product, and you’re just purchasing it from Amazon.
To summarize: Having the product pages and cart functionality truly meshed (the way they are in Drupal) is super cool. They’re built on the same platform, so you don’t need to think about combining them. It’s already done.
To learn more, check out our High Five episode “Drupal Commerce 2.x – CMS.”
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